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Fictional characters - The best and the worst

Just something that came from another comment from Apple about how most women are attracted to the idea of a person like Heathcliff. It's a very loose link, but it made me wonder who are the fictional characters that you are most attracted to (in an admirable sense as much as a romantic sense), and conversely who do you find the most repulsive (for whatever reason you choose to give)?

This might just be a long-winded way of saying 'who are your favourite and least-favourite fictional characters and why?'

The Heathcliff thing reminds me of something I saw on another website, a list entitled 'Things to F*** off your girlfriend'. No. 1 was:
The fact that you cannot be both the conceited, roguish b****rd and the sensitive, listening male she wants at the same f***ing time.

...which I thought was quite funny.

One of my favourite characters when I was a kid was Jo March from Little Women.  I wanted to be just like her!   Couldn't stand Meg and Beth though!

These days, Vimes of the Night Watch is a favourite.   Least favourite?  I'll have to have a think.....

My most admired fictional  character is probably Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird, a deeply principled, kind, gentle hero full of empathy for all walks of people and a wonderful single father.  (And of course I absulutely
Gregory Peck in the film!)

My most hated fictional character is definitely the drunken father (Joe?) in The Bone People who beats his young son almost to the point of death.

Whoops.....the word adored was supposed to be in inverted commas, not a quote.....sorry.

We have an edit function, bookfreak!   Should be in the top right of your post.

I really liked Atticus Finch too, he was a character with such strong principles and such admirable qualities. You've made me want to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird now

I always find these tough to answer but, at the moment, my favourite character would be DI John Rebus - with Ken Stott playing him!  A suitably flawed character doing the best he can with what he's got and not easily fooled by anybody.

As for a character I don't like?  Sheesh, that's even tougher.  I suppose it would need to Hannibal Lecter, for obvious reasons.


Thanks Miranda, I shall do better next time!

Ooo, Vimes, there's a good one!  I also love Heathcliff (yes yes I know he's a complete bastard and I wouldn't like him if I met him, but as a fictional character he's brilliant), and Mr Darcy of course.

I think my all-time favourite male character is probably Fitz, from Robin Hobb's Assassin books.  He is so real in my head it is often hard to get my head round the fact that he's fictional when I put a book down!

This is a good thread!

Let me see well evil for has to be Heathcliffe, he was just so twisted, but in a way you can't help feeling just a bit sorry for him at times, as he sort of had a reason for his hatred towards Hindley, the way Hindley treated him. But other really unpleasant characters for me have to be Harold Skimpole and Tulkinghorn in Bleak House, Harold Skimpole, was a sniveling manipulative weasel leaching off everyone and being severely unpleseant, Tulkinghorn was also manipulative but he was cold and calculating in a different more menacing way. Then of course from a totally different spectrum Voldemort in Harry Potter, was not someone who you would want to cross. Another one would be Rance in a Catherine Cookson novel I read called The invisible cord, he was manipulative and he killed his father, and was a drug dealer before he murdered his mother when she finally stopped shielding him and tried to turn him in (this novel was set between 1940's - late 1960's, unlike many of her other novels).

Annoying and irritating has to go to the name dropper Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice, you just wanted to punch his lights out!

But favourite thats really hard it depends on what sort of character you are looking at for a strong character who stands no messing which I always find appealing I'd say Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and prejudice because she puts Darcy in his place, and knocks him down a peg or two.

But for me my favourite alround character is a stong,  mysterious, misunderstood, complex, brave but also flawed and in some ways damaged character... he's Severus Snape in Harry Potter.

As for the Phoar factor, it has to be Colin Firth as Mr Darcy! When he gets out of the water soaking wet and strides across the grass...
Klara Z

I am with you, Apple, when it comes to Severus Snape!

I think also it's quite possible to have a 'favourite' fictional character who is also deeply flawed as a human being and whom you wouldn't like in real life----such a character, for me, is Yakimov in the Balkan trilogy---everything about him is appalling and yet every time he appears on the page I'm delighted to *see* him. So entertaining,I suppose.

Lots of favourite characters in Dickens ---I love Mr Jingle from 'Pickwick Papers' and Dick Swiveller from 'The Old Curiousity Shop'.
And then there are the detectives---like Lord Peter Wimsey and Albert Campion.

Yes, the Balkan trilogy would not be half as good without 'your poor old Yaki'!  And his fate is one of the biggest fictional shocks I've had in a while...

MikeAlx wrote:
The Heathcliff thing reminds me of something I saw on another website, a list entitled 'Things to F*** off your girlfriend'. No. 1 was:
The fact that you cannot be both the conceited, roguish b****rd and the sensitive, listening male she wants at the same f***ing time.

...which I thought was quite funny.

Mike, what a wonderful quote!  And what a dilemma for modern man!

I am enamored of Severus Snape, too, but it might just be Alan Rickman that I'm attracted's hard to tell once you have been given a visual image of a character.

Yes there is something about Alan Rickman I think it is his voice - (I also loved him in Truely Madly Deeply) but he is a fantastic actor but in my case  it is Snape the Character which I think was a beautifully written well thought out complex interesting and deeply damaged character and the final book is where all is fully revealed about his character,  but I wept buckets when I read that chapter in the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 33 The Princes Tale. (But I am looking forward to seeing how Alan Rickman plays it in the final film!)

Alan Rickman is in the first (I think!) Die Hard film and, of course, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves with Kevin Coster.  He's an excellent actor and worth watching in anything at all, imho.


And he does make a baddie seem so gooooooood ;o)

If anyone has seen Dogma, Alan Rickman plays The Metatron very well

And of course he was wonderful as Obadiah Slope in the fabulous BBC production of Trollope's Barchester Chronicles.
Joe Mac

Oh, thanks Evie! You reminded me of Sgt. Obadiah Hakeswill from the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell, a nasty piece of work if there ever was one.

I have found this a very difficult question.  I think I have decided on Lady Dedlock as the character I admire the most; not sure why but I did find her story very touching and her strength and vulnerability fascinating.

Leasst admirable characters - I am not fond of arrogance and and bullies and dislike characters who think their wishes should rule the world.  However I can't think of a specific character in this mould at the moment, so have opted for Sir Pitt Crawley the elder, who makes my flesh creep.  (Actually briefly I wondered about Becky herself.)

Cheers, Caro.

My favorite character you probably never heard of since few people that belong to this forum read fantasy or science fiction.  My choice is Priscilla Hutchins who appears in a series of novels by Jack McDevitt:

"The Engines of God"

She is a plain , middle aged, unmarried woman who with a career as a starship pilot.  The novels take her into precarious situations where survival depends on keeping one's cool and finding intelligent solutions. [/i]

What sort of sci-fi are they?  Plain glass or stained glass?
Green Jay

kitsumehime wrote:
She is a plain , middle aged, unmarried woman who with a career as a starship pilot.  [/i]

That's such a great line! She sounds really interesting.

I read a strange thriller last year with a small-town head cop who was middle-aged and female, & trying to look after her elderly mother too, (and deal with a serial killer, of course!) but also dealing with the small town cosy values of this place she lived in, and everyone knowing her and all her business. I liked the quirky set up. It reminded me a bit of the fabulous no-nonsense pregnant cop in Fargo, played by Frances McDormand. The thriller was by someone Inger Wolfe but I can't remember the title; and the author's name was supposed to be pseudonym for an already-famous literary writer, but I haven't a clue who!!

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